Top 7 things to do and see in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has something to offer for all. World-class museums, historic sites, beautiful canals and an abundance of hustle and bustle. It’s no wonder Amsterdam is on your to-do list. The city is the perfect answer for a cultural get-away and here’s why.

1. Visit the Anne Frank house


This is at the top of my list. If you’re lucky enough to grab yourself a ticket before visiting Amsterdam then you can skip the queues and go in at an appointed time before 3:30pm. However, if like me your selected date was sold out this means you have to start queuing up after 3:30pm. Priced at just €9 this museum offers an insight into the life of Anne Frank and many others in a Nazi-occupied Netherlands. It is definitely worth the 2.5 hour + wait. I came out feeling overwhelmed, it made it very much more of a reality as opposed to just a story. If its one thing you can’t miss, it’s this!

2. Free walking tour

If you’re looking to get more of an insight on Amsterdams history and culture, a tour of the city is the best way for this. What’s really great is that Amsterdam has many tour guides offering free tours every morning from Dam Square. There is an option to give the tour guide a tip. I spent 3 hours walking around the different Amsterdam neighbourhoods from the Jewish quarter to the Red light district. I learned everything about how Amsterdam was founded and built to what it’s like working as a girl in one of the many windows dotted around town. This is a great way to explore the city by foot but why not try a canal cruise for an inside look on the city connected by water.

3. Iamsterdam Letters


In just a short tram journey away you could be headed to Museumplein for the 2m tall letters where you’re within walking distance of top attractions including The Heineken Experience tour, Van Gough Museum, Vondelpark and Rijksmuseum. This makes for a great photo opportunity to tell all your social media friends  where you are. The letters are located at the back of the Rijksmuseum and there is a nearby garden with water fountains that make for the perfect spot to eat your lunch on a pleasant sunny day.

4. The Begijnhof


It’s no secret that Amsterdam is home to many secrets but what fascinated me the most about this place was the fact that nestled right in the very heart of the city, amongst the sex selling and the drug taking, was a sanctuary for women to spend their lives. Established in the 14th century this safe haven courtyard opened up to the “Beguines” sisterhood, today its houses are occupied by older single women. They nursed the sick and taught the children. This tranquil spot is located near Spui. The south entrance is an arched door on the Spui. This is a perfect way of escaping the hustle and bustle of the city whilst learning about its past.

5. Sex museum


Priced at €5 per person, you really cant miss out on this museum. The sex musuem offers everything from collections of pictures to moving figures. Its an interesting look into sexuality and the many different forms of it. There’s so much ‘history’ within this museum dating back to the Ancient Greeks and the Romans. They truly were wild. My favourite room was the dimly neon-lit room with different pictures. I had to leave the room 3 times due to my uncontrollable laughter and the comments from my friend Becky. It was the highlight of my trip. The museum itself is like a maze, with many rooms. It is located within walking distance from Central Station, at Damrak 18, one of the busiest streets of the city.

6. Red light district

Source: https://instagram.com/p/BTH9c7JBvYU/


To get the best experience of the Red Light District, venture out in the evening to see the girls at their peak. There’s an abundance of bars on every street if you want to sit down and take in your surroundings. The streets are busy and there’s a real sense of joy amongst the crowd. You’ll meet all kinds of people along these streets and its a really safe area to be in.

7. Explore Amsterdams bars, cafes and peep shows 

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Amsterdam has many ‘Sex shows’ taking place each year. We decide to have our go at a ‘peep show’. Ignoring the 1 person per cabin rule, we rushed in in pairs together. What we saw after paying our euros I’ll leave up to you to imagine. It’s a weird experience and one we came out of in fits of giggles. So if you’re up for it definitely go and check these out!

Rehearsals: Week 3

Week 3 is finally coming to an end, leaving us with just under 2 weeks left until our opening night. This week seems to have bolted past my eyes before I could even get a chance to blink. It’s gone crazy fast.

Perhaps too fast.

For me, this week was a turning point. A step in the right direction. My previous worries and fears have gone out the window. My mind felt clear. Less fog and more clarity.

And with clarity comes progress.

Progress in the form of character. This week I think as a group, both collectiviely and individually, the mechanicals were able to connect more to their characters and to the dynamics within the group. We got some pretty amazing work done this week despite the minor frustration during an ensemble number in the earlier part of the week. However rehearsals are like that. You have your good days and equally you have your bad days.

Having said goodbye to the bad days we quickly moved on to choreographing more numbers in the show, as well as cleaning previous numbers. In this weeks heat, at times it was unbearable but definitely necessary. No pain, no gain and all that jazz. My favourite of the new choreo would have to be ‘Catch me if you can.’ We use our lanterns to entice and bewilder the four lovers throughout the number leading them into a maze-like trap in some ways. I think its going to look really effective under the lighting.

The dreaming is a really interesting adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘A midsummer night’s dream’ and it has been really fun putting it on its feet. Next week is primarily a week for adding on and joining up the divisions between the two acts and creating a solid production. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us but I’m prepared to make it a success.

We all are.

To find out more on our production click here.

Adventures in Bristol 

Saturday
After 2 weeks of rehearsals I decided it was time for a bit of ME time, so when the offer to visit a friend in Bristol came up, I jumped at the opportunity to go. And I’m very glad I did. The journey involved a train to London Victoria and then a coach to bristol with National Express. The journey took longer than expected however it was nice knowing that in 2.5 hours time I would be in a new city exploring all it has to offer. 

Upon entering Bristol, I was greeted by artwork urging the people of bristol to vote in the next election (June 8th)  – amen to that! I was also greeted by people asking me for spare change towards a bus fair or a hostel for the night – I soon noticed homelessness is a big problem here. I saw numerous flyers campaigning for homeless peoples rights and help towards them getting by during my time here. Jon finally arrived and we decided to please our appetites by heading to the markets to indulge in the food they had to offer. Jon opted for a very traditional pie whereas I opted for something a bit further out – a Mediterranean veg, chicken and mozzarella baguette. It was delicious.


We explored the markets some more and stopped off at both the sweet shop and the incense stall. Bouncing back onto the streets of bristol we decided to head on over to more of the old bristol before making our way to the harbourside part of town. Having looked at more than enough ships on our last trip together we decided, or more so Idecided that the SS Great Britain was definitely not an option for this trips itinerary. Instead we strolled casually along embracing the peacefulness of the surroundings. With my backpack on like the typical tourist I am. I did however leave my shades at home but that was okay because it started to rain quite a fair bit on this particular Saturday.

It was here that I found my Amsterdam in Bristol. The day was filled with exploring and I felt the same happiness that I felt sight-seeing in Amsterdam. I was just happy to be in a new city having fun. If my time permitted i would happily board a train and go out exploring new places all the time but sadly due to the nature of my musical theatre degree I just dont have that much time to be doing so. When I got to the harbourside I was amazed to have found the lineup of bicycles on the railings against the waterfront. It teleported me back to Amsterdam immediately surrounded by canals and a bicycles everywhere I turned. It was very nostalgic.

“It was here that I found my Amsterdam in Bristol”


Exploring some more we headed on over to the cathedral. Inside it was beautiful, simple but grande in its design. An external choir of boys from Oxford were busy rehearsing for their evening performance when we entered. It was angelic. Whilst I’m not exactly a religious person it was nice to view the building and how much it means to the people who worship there. There was a box for writing down a prayer you want read in the next service and i caught a glimpse of one persons prayer (because I’m nosey) and it was very endearing.

Cabot Tower was next on our list. It was a steep climb for my sore legs that have been used to their limits through both rehearsals and gym time. I clearly can’t hack the both of them.  After several pit stops, with Jon seeking shelter from the rain under the trees, we finally made it to the top. The tower was in sight. Like a knight rescuing his princess from the dragon I raised up the many steep steps to reach the top. It was here we got to see the whole of Bristol.

Not the best of skylines I must admit but alas we had succeeded in our mission.

Tired and thirsty we decided to unwind over a coffee in the city centre; or in my case an Iced Green Tea with Lemon. With our rest period over we migrated over to the bus stop to catch our bus back to Jon’s place. We proceeded down Gloucester Road before reaching home. It was quite an interesting road. It looked as though there was an event going on as there were groups of people queuing and drinking in the streets – there was something quite grungy-esque about this. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but it was cool and I liked it!

I’ve probably just sounded exactly like your 65 year old grandad trying to get down with the kids in writing that…

MUD-tastic 😜


Nando’s was the choice of delicacy for tonight evening meal and by the time we left I was beyond full. On our way home we stopped off at Asda for the morning’s breakfast – quite the efficient pair aren’t we.

Sunday

Awaking from our slumber we were ready to start the day. That is after a shower and breakfast. Can’t be skipping breakfast now can we kids. Driving along the more ‘scenic’ route we reached our destination – The Wild Place Project. It was such a beautiful day for it, the sun was out and the rain was nowhere to be seen, unlike yesterday. Being Bristol Zoo’s sister site I was excited for our day out. We were given a leaflet containing a map and a trail for the ‘explorers’ where we had to tick off all the missions we had completed. I embraced my inner 5-year-old once more and had the most amazing time. I was the one doing the activities might I say, Jon watched and ticked off. Here at the farm we met everything from the Madagascan lemurs to the European grey wolves. Each exhibit had their own story to tell and I really enjoyed the different sections to this place. If you’ve got kids and our looking for a fabulous day out in Bristol I’d highly reckoned this place. Or if your like me and you love animals then take your friends and partners and have a blast. I sure did. My favourite part of the day was the ‘Barefoot Trail’ it was a route in which I got more connected with nature through feeling the ground beneath my feet as i walked through the trail – it was beautiful, even the mud section at the end. Thank God for the hose at the finish line.

Here’s the highlights of the day.

 

 

I even got a chance to sit down and do some blogging of my own on this typewriter in the jungle.


Sadly this was all we had time for due to me having to catch the coach back to London. But after a day of exploring the realms of Africa, Europe and Madagascar I was fully worn out. After a late lunch i was happy to be resting on the coach journey home. Bristol was beautiful and it was the escape I needed. Get yourself out there and go explore, wherever it may be. Have fun and filly your life with happiness. Forget about the worries and stresses of your day to day life. Leave the work behind and take time for yourselves. Every once in a while you deserve it! Stay happy.

We Must Stand Together

Everywhere I look I am reminded of the barbaric event that happened yesterday in Manchester. For those who aren’t up to speed, 22 people attending Ariana Grande’s concert in the Manchester Arena were killed by a fatal suicide bomb attack containing shrapnel injuring at least 59 others towards the end of the concert last night. Fans heard a loud explosion and rushed to safety out of the arena.

It has sickened me. I am disgusted and shaken by the ordeal. One thing I dont understand is WHY? 

Why did this happen? How could a human being do this to so many people? So many young people? But with everything that’s going on in the world, with the Westminster attacks still raw in our minds, we are left asking – when will it happen next?

It is crazy to think, how growing up as a child I wasn’t ever aware of terrorism but now it plays such a huge role in my life – especially since the recent attacks on Westminster where I was working 10 minutes away with the possibility of going on lockdown. We are now more aware of the happenings throughout the wider world whether you choose to believe it is actually happening or not. Manchester is a city on edge. We are a global nation on edge. It shouldn’t be this way.

This is how terrorism wins.

What’s beautiful to see out of this is the community spirit within Manchester after the horrific attack. I’ve viewed countless posts on social media of people offering help and aid to the victims of the attacks from transportation to hospitality. Police officers off duty came out to help the city and the emergency services did an amazing job in helping the victims and continue to do so on the ongoing investigation.

There has been many vigils taking place across the country to show support and give love to the victims, their family and their friends. My love and support reach out to all affected by this horrific event. Upon hearing the news I contacted the many friends I have living in Manchester including my twin brother urging them to stay safe in the city. This is a topic so close to home for me and being away from home has highlighted the need for community spirit.

But one thing we mustn’t do, not only in the UK but around the world, is stop living our lives. We have to carry on and stop the ongoing fear we all have. This is how terrorism wins. They want to divide us as a nation and we cannot allow this to happen. Our communities must remain cohesive and strong – just like how we’ve seen demonstrated at the different vigils taking place today. All communities from all backgrounds whether that be gender, age, race and religion came together to unite.

We Must Stand Together.

The attacker has been identified and already I’ve seen racist and Islamophobic comments about the event all across social media. To me this is just as barbaric as the actual attack. The evil in their words disgust me. Know that is is not Islam or Muslims that caused this attack. It was one of extremism. Evil exists in every community – the world should recognise this. But the world must also live harmoniously together. Through faith and strength we can achieve this goal.

With ISIS claiming victory on Manchester, another militant group, known as Maute, linked to the terrorist group have strikes attack on the Phillipene Marawi City. Civilians have been urged to stay indoors. ISIS flags have been raised in several areas in the city including hospitals, government establishments and police cars. Women not wearing a Hijab are being taken away and several are injured. Whilst we send our support to Manchester we must also reach out and send it to the Phillipeanes at this terrible time.

The world needs you.

If you’re reading this, grab yourself a cup of tea and get a good night’s sleep. Know that tomorrow everything will be a tiny bit better. You must carry on and you have to put on a brave face and smile. Hug your friends and your family – hug a stranger.

Fight back with love and stand united together. 

Rehearsals: Week 2

With rehearsals now under way for our end of year production ‘The Dreaming’, the show is really coming together. Characters have been established and songs have been brought to life. Just 10 days in, we’ve already created something we’re all extremely proud of.

This may all change however, as with any production changes are inevitable. Changes in blocking, in choreography or in characterisation. To me this is what makes it exciting. Sometimes you think ‘well what was the point in spending all those hours on doing it that way?’ but to me it’s all a part of the process. You can only get to where you need to be by starting off from the base of what you think should happen. It’s from this point on where the magic all happens. It’s here that you find new things and get to explore and play with what could be and what could work. With characterisation it’s all about finding your character tear through an element of truth in terms of the play and the outside world.

In my production, I will be playing the role of Walter Grubb, a butchers boy. He’s a member of an acting troop that will be putting on a play for Lord Julian. In the play he plays both a princess and the rear-end of a dragon. We were fitted for costume on Friday and the visualisation is incredible. Friday was also a day of choreography. We finally got to meet our choreographer, Matthew Cole, who choreographed 2 numbers for us. It was a long day but one well spent. In the play I will also be playing a Boy Woodlander (ensemble). It’s here where all the fun happens. There’s nothing I love more than being creative with a strong cast in an ensemble number. They carry the show, I believe, and in terms of backstory you’re entitled to a whole world of possibilities.

This week has been a lot more proactive than the first week had been, I feel a lot more comfortable in my roles and it’s just exciting to see it all come together and watch thee story unfold. I’ve been collapsing into bed every night as soon as I reach home, which is always a good sign of hard work. I lead the warmup on Thursday, introducing a series of fun corner exercises that I love doing to the cast. They really enjoyed it so I guess I shouldn’t rule out teaching dance as a future career opportunity. On Friday we created a massage train to relieve the strains of the week – this was much needed. But for now though, it’s time for a bit of relaxation as I enter into the weekend on my travels to Bristol. I do have my script with me to get the lines more embodied into my body and mind – no rest for the wicked I’m afraid.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend – have fun!

For more on The Dreaming click here.

5 ways to deal with stress… especially at Drama school.

Stress is inevitable. If we don’t recognise this and learn to deal with stress it can over run our own lives. It can stop our sense of productivity and serve as a constant distraction to both our minds and our lives. At drama school, stress levels are often heightened due to the pressures we go through every day. Some caused by others and some by ourselves. I believe, us as performers in training and performers in profession, are quite hard on ourselves in terms of expectations and goals. Whilst its neccessary to set ourselves goals in prospect of progress, sometimes it all gets on top of us. Especially when you add auditions, drama, assessments and the battle against pirouettes in the mix. Fortunately there are ways to deal with stress and ways to minimise it. Here are 5 ways in which you can angle it more effectively.

1. Talk about your feelings with your peers

Establishing a strong relationship with your cohort of classmates/friends is essential in terms of feeling comfortable with one another. They are there with you through everything. They experience your experience. You go through the same emotions. The ups and the downs. They’re the ones who are going to pick you back up when you’re at your lowest. It’s much better to get things out in the open and talking to your friends about your worries will be extremely beneficial to you. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved.

2. Meditation and massage

Taking just 15 minutes out of your day to relax and look after your body can do wonders for your mind and your mood. Meditation leads to increased concentration meaning that distractions are less frequent. Equating to a longevity of productivity. In class we sometimes massage our peers to relieve any tension or soreness from the muscles. After a long day, this is exactly what you need. Sometimes in life you’re so busy in your tasks that you forget to take care of yourself and your well being. Meditation is a fun way of regaining that balance back in your life and you can do it anywhere, whether it be lying down on your bed to sitting down during your lunch break.

3. Laugh and see the positives

As mentioned here, you have to deal with negativity in life and that can come down to seeing the positives out of every situation. The more accepting you are of positivity the more positive experiences you will become apparent to. It draws you in. Just like laughter does. There’s nothing better than to be in a fit of giggles and trying to tame your uncontrollable hysteria is what makes it even funnier. Simply by smiling and having a laugh with your friends you automatically feel better. It’s uplifting and its better for your mindset. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

Way to go right! 

Laughter also triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. When you are laughing, the muscles in your stomach expand and contract, similar to when you intentionally exercise your abs. We’ll have the summer body looking great in no time!

4. Have your ‘healthy escape’

What’s really important is making sure you take the time to get away from it all. You need time to do the things you enjoy, the things that make you happy. Every once in a while you need a little TLC and its ok to indulge in that whatever it may be. It may simply just going for a coffee with your friends or taking that extra dance class; after all, exercise releases endorphins in the body that trigger a positive feeling. For me I find comfort in writing my blog, it’s a way for me to vent but it’s also a way for me to do something I actually enjoy doing. Another way I ‘escape’ is through yoga. I highly recommend taking a class – it works wonders for your whole body.

5. Get plenty of sleep

Ensuring you get enough sleep each night is vital in terms of your health. Just by waking up feeling well-rested can set the tone for your day within 30 minutes. Your work is at your best when you are fully rested and missing out on those crucial zzz’s can lead to unhappiness within your work and day to day life. Avoid consumption of caffeine, sugar and alcohol before bed as these can effect your sleeping pattern. Make sure you get into a routine of going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning. Over time this gets easier to do. For now though its time to turn of your technology and get the sleep you very much deserve.

The Dreaming

It’s finally time to introduce you to ‘The Dreaming’. With rehearsals well underway I’m very excited to get this show up on it’s feet. In just 6 weeks time (9-10th June 2017) I will be performing my very first show here at Trinity Laban.

The Dreaming is a musical created by Howard Goodall and Charles Hart based on William Shakespear’sA Midsummer Night’s Dream’. For our auditions we had to prepare two contrasting contemporary-legit songs for the first round. In terms of recalls we were then asked to look over material dependent on the character casting. For my audition I chose two beautiful songs that I would definitely use again for the future. My first choice was ‘She’s a Woman’ from ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’. Kiss of the Spider Woman is a musical with music by John Kander and Fred Ebb, with the book by Terrence McNally. It is based on the Manuel Puig novel ‘El Beso de la Mujer Araña’. It tells the tale of Luis Alberto Molina, a gay man who is in a prison for corrupting a minor. He lives in a fantasy world to flee his current life, the torture, fear and humiliation. His fantasies revolves around movies, particularly around Aurora – a vampy diva. Moline gets a new cell mate –  Valentin Arregui Paz, a Marxist revolutionary who has been badly tortured. Molina has to battle against telling the guards Valentin’s secrets, falling in love with Valentin and staying sane in this cell. It’s such a beautiful story and the score is equally as beautiful. ‘She’s a Woman’ highlights Molina’s heroism of what he knows to be masculinity. It tells his story well. My second song was from ‘Grey Gardens’ by Doug Wright, music by Scott Frankel, and lyrics by Michael Korie, based on the 1975 documentary of the same title about the lives of Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (“Big Edie”) and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale (“Little Edie”) by Albert and David Maysles. The song was titled ‘Drift Away’. This too was a really good song for me.

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So far, the music is incredible and the script is filled with such comedic writing. I have been given one of the ‘mechanicals’ roles – Walter Grubb (The butcher’s boy). Having just completed a read through of a few scenes I am completely in love with the chemistry the mechanicals have with one another. It’s filled with comedy and wit – a pair Shakespeare, like Goodall, does well. In terms of characterisation and costume there is so much to play about with and as a member of the mechanicals there is some really great scenarios I get to have fun with, which is always exciting! I also get to be a member of the ensemble in the form of Angel (Oberon) ‘s Boy Woodlanders. Today we had a really insightful and engaging discussion about who they are and where they may have come from. This sparked curiosity and a or of creativity. It was interesting to hear different people’s viewpoints. So far its been a really two-way creation between us the performers and the directors. I’ve definitely got my research to do but I’m thrilled to begin the journey. I’m beyond excited to get to work with our choreographer Matthew Cole on the show also.

For now though its off to rehearsals, Day 3.

To learn more about a different project I worked on  click here.

Dealing with negativity

Negativity affects every single person throughout their life and its something we all have to go through in order to grow. We are at times our own worst enemy. We stop ourselves from putting ourselves out there and grabbing opportunities just because of our negative thinking and our self-doubt. It defeats us at times but we get through it eventually.

I’ve chosen a profession that is constantly open to negativity and criticism. Musical Theatre. You’re constantly under scrutiny – sometimes it’s a good thing but sometimes it’s very bad. The most important thing is how you deal with those negative criticisms in your life. In my experience the first thing is to accept, or rather acknowledge them no matter how hard-hitting they may be. Then you need to view them as an opportunity for change. You can recognise whether this is something you need to work on and grow from or you can filter out the negativity that you can’t change about yourself because after all an opinion is just an opinion. One person might love that same thing the other person hates about you. You can’t please everybody.

This is the same in everyday life. What’s really important is that you don’t become the victim and lose yourself in a world that’s trying to put you down at times. You can’t lose everything you believe in and everything that makes you YOU just to fit the expectation of others. Stay true to yourself. This is when you’ll be at your happiest.

There comes a point in life where you learn to step away from it all. You have to step away from the negative thinking and general negativity in order to enhance your own being. I’m a strong believer in – what you put out into the world or what you surround yourself with really does affect you and your life. If your constantly being weighed down by it all, even when it’s not your own problems its very easy to be involved in others when offering advice, sometimes you just need to take a step back and put your priorities first. Avoid it at all costs because it really can make you feel overwhelmed and it reflects in your actions and mood over time.

My message is this: Negativity is everywhere but that doesn’t mean you have to succumb to its web of weight. You can acknowledge its existence and choose to deal with it in a way that suits you. Whether it be acceptance for growth and critique or simply avoidance of drama and negative thinking, replacing it with positivity and mindfulness.

For more on this click here.

A reflection on Shakespeare 

Shakespeare concluded at the tail end of last term but with a new beginning on the horizon, we are reminded of the past in the form of assessment grades. For those of you who don’t know me that well, it is safe to say, I was apprehensive about opening up the feedback sheet from my tutor. This is because whenever I approach a classical text, Shakespeare in particularly, I never feel as though I’m able enough to live up to the role in a way deemed ‘correct’ by others.

Analysing and studying a Shakespeare text is difficult enough, as you’ll all probably know from past experience in English lessons throughout the years, but then try reiterating that in your acting performance. In my case – what I want to get across to the audience doesn’t always necessarily read that way when it comes down to it. But grow with it I will and over time this will get easier to achieve.

Perseverance is key.

And the key to shakespeare is commitment. In my experience I find you have to pay attention to every little detail that’s given to you in the text, from how it is written to how the language used.

Look for the clues within the text and try to make sense of it in your own trail of thought. It’s amazing just how much you can link to your own mind without you even realising.

However, the struggle is real. You will face problems and you will be depleted. But what you wont be is defeated.

You stick at it and you get rid of those blocks, whether it be mental blocks in terms of not understanding a phrase or vocal blocks in terms of not driving the phrase more with the correct muscularity and technique. It happens to the best of us and what’s really important with classical text is that you carry on and make sure it lands correctly. This comes with practice and you can be ensured that the more work you put in, the more benefits you will receive from it.

We had 4 weeks to work on this piece of work and at times it was a struggle but at other times it was exciting.

A few friends and fencers rehearsing for their Shakespeare assessments

I was paired with Hannah – my ‘fake’ Scottish friend who was actually born in Taunton, Somerset and later moved to a little village called Ballantrae on the west coast of Scotland. Her role was Phoebe in Shakespeare’s comedy ‘As you like it’. A young shepherdess who disdains the affections of Silvius. She falls in love with Ganymede, who is really Rosalind in disguise, but Rosalind tricks Phoebe into marrying Silvius.

I was her onstage lover Silvius. A young shepherd desperately in love with the proud and disdainful Phoebe. Following the conventions of the love poetry of the time, Silvius prostrates himself before a woman who refuses to return his affections. In the end, however, he wins the object of his desire. Not only did I succeed in winning her heart, I also succeeded in winning over the audiences hearts as noted in my feedback stating that I “presented such a loveable character, as was apparent by the audience’s response. This work had a lovely honesty, and naiivity, appropriate for the character.”

This involved me acting like a complete dork, blinded by love for a woman who doesn’t love me back. When she looked upon Ganymede, my character was compelled with jealousy and sadness. It was a fun role to get into and it was great to actually challenge myself and work on my West Country/Somerset accent. Once I got going it was great, however in those first few rehearsals the accent was diabolical. It was great working with Hannah, we had a laugh – a few too many on my behalf and I can now fully recite almost all of her lines.

In the end I actually came out quite surprised with my result. I thought I’d be lucky to scrape a C on this assignment but in the end I mastered a B. A grade up from my B- in last terms naturalism piece.

* strike your best victory pose *

Strangely enough acting has been the discipline that I’ve done the best in out of the three since being here at Trinity Laban. I say ‘strange’, because acting is the discipline I have the least confidence in but I guess my hard work has paid off. I’m very please with my progress not only in acting but also in my singing and dancing. In both I’ve progressed, improving from C’s the first time round to B-‘s this time round for my rendition of Kurt Weill’s Speak low – in which I created a scenario where there was two Hollywood male lovers in 1940s who were planning to run away together to be happy and be true to themselves instead of disguising their sexuality by dating film co-stars. My characters lover had just finished telling him, he couldn’t go through with it because he was scared of what could happen, which is when the song kicks in.

* heartbreaks and promises 🙁 *

And of course for my dance assessment of Dollie Henry’s Jazz lesson/routine. I wasn’t as confident walking out of that assessment either. But it turned out well in the end I guess. And I now have more of an insight as to what I need to work on in the future.

The man, the myth, the legend…

Next, though, is The Dreaming. Our end of year show. More to follow on that, real soon.

If you’d like to read my earlier post on entering into Shakespeare, click here.